The dichotomy of Elon Musk

E.V. Annex
2 min readJul 20, 2020

Originally published at on July 20, 2020.

Who is Elon Musk? According to Raja Murthy at Asia Times, as a “computer prodigy, engineer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and foot-in-the-mouth expert, he rollicks as a rare breed in our young 21st century. No man in our lifetime has converted so many outlandish ideas into varying degrees of reality.”

Above: Elon Musk looks towards the stars (Dribble: Ilya Shapko)

“Musk last week, at age 49, became the world’s seventh-richest person. He overtook Warren Buffett, Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Google co-founder Sergey Brin. But rating Musk merely through mountains of money would be like measuring Michelangelo with pots of paint,” writes Murthy.

“Founding the world’s most successful private space company SpaceX alone would have been sufficient glory in a lifetime. Not in a Musk lifetime,” notes Murthy. After selling PayPal, Musk’s breakthrough businesses have sprung forth “like techo-wonder rabbits out of a magician’s top hat.”

Indeed. Musk’s audacious electric car company is now forging a bold, new future for a century-old (stuck-in-its-ways) auto industry. Tesla, it turns out, just surpassed Toyota to become the most valuable automaker on planet Earth.

Carson Block, a longtime Musk critic and well-known Tesla short-seller, recently confessed to Bloomberg, “I’m not short the stock, thank God.” He adds, “Short it at your own risk. I wouldn’t do that.” Block elaborates, “It’s one thing to bet on Elon Musk, but it’s another thing to bet against him.”

Above: Elon Musk continues to confound the critics (YouTube: MulliganBorthers)

So is Elon Musk a spellbinding magician or brilliant businessman? Call it whatever you want. The results speak for themselves. Perhaps it’s neither. On Twitter, Musk hinted at a telltale explanation, “Engineering is true magic.”

There’s this dichotomy with Elon. A supergeek with swagger. He contemplates complex books and celebrates silly memes. Impulsive on Twitter yet patient in person. Meanwhile, his timelines tend be over-aggressive. He readily admits, “Punctuality is not my strong suit, but I always come through in the end.”

“He could be wrong or right or both right and wrong in chasing strange dreams. He could be both maverick visionary and mirage seller. But Musk will remain a unique, exhilarating story of our times,” concludes Murthy.

“I’d rather be optimistic and wrong,” Elon says, “than be pessimistic and right.”


Originally published at on July 20, 2020.

Source: Asia Times; Bloomberg